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November 19, 2008

Fascinating amicus brief filed in Polizzi case

Regular readers may recall US District Judge Jack Weinstein's fascinating Polizzi decision earlier this year, in which he ruled that he should have informed the jury of which counts in a child pornography case carry mandatory minimum sentences (basics here, early commentary here).  The case is now being briefed before the Second Circuit, and yesterday I received a fascinating amicus brief filed by NACDL and FAMM is support of Judge Weinstein's ruling.  The brief, which can be downloaded below, has many important sections, and I found the historical discussion especially intriguing.  Here is a paragraph from the brief at the start of that discussion:

An examination of the historical record from the Colonial and post- Revolutionary eras shows that eighteenth-century jurors would have been keenly aware of the sentencing implications of their verdicts. Accordingly, the Sixth Amendment at the very least permits a trial court to exercise discretion, under all the facts and circumstances best known to it, to instruct the jury on the mandatory minimum sentence that would follow from a defendant’s conviction.

Download polizzi_2d_cir. Amicus Brief.pdf

November 19, 2008 at 07:37 AM | Permalink


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Are you aware of the other briefs being available online anywhere? Would be interested in the Govt's brief, too. Thanks!

Posted by: JDB | Nov 21, 2008 10:43:29 AM

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